DeSantis suggests he could nominate Democrat RFK Jr. to lead the FDA or CDC

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is hesitant to consider Democrat RFK Jr. as his potential VP

Republican presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that he would consider appointing Democratic 2024 White House hopeful Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to lead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) if elected. 

During a sit-down interview with OutKick's Clay Travis, DeSantis expressed hesitancy to choosing RFK Jr. as vice president, given that some of his liberal stances don’t align with conservatives. 

"If you’re president, sic him on the FDA if he would be willing to serve or sic him on CDC. But in terms of being veep, if 70% of the issues he may be averse to our base on, you know, that just creates an issue," DeSantis said. "Here’s the issue, I’m aligned with him on Fauci and the corruption and the health bureaucracies 100%, and I think he’d probably said or done some other things that I agree with too, but at the end of the day, he’s more liberal on some." 

"He used to say – I don’t know if he still believes this – that if you deny climate change you should go to jail, things like that. So conservative voters would want those things flushed out," the governor added. "He opposed the affirmative action ruling that says you can’t racially discriminate – on that, he would have wanted that to remain. So I just think at the end of the day you need somebody that’s going to reflect the values of the broad coalition." 


desantis suggests he could nominate democrat rfk jr to lead the fda or cdc

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would consider choosing Democrat Robert Kennedy, Jr. to lead the CDC or FDA – but not to run as his vice president. (Getty Images)

DeSantis agreed that Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the president, should be prosecuted for allegedly lying to Congress regarding gain of function research and efforts to quash the COVID-19 lab leak theory. 

In response to the interview, another GOP 2024 presidential hopeful, former Vice President Mike Pence, lambasted DeSantis. 

"When I am President, I will only consider Pro-Life Americans to lead FDA, CDC, or HHS. To be clear, pro-abortion Democrats like RFK, Jr. would not even make the list," Pence wrote Wednesday night on X, the new name Elon Musk's Twitter. 

desantis suggests he could nominate democrat rfk jr to lead the fda or cdc

Democratic presidential candidate Robert Kennedy, Jr. testifies at the "Weaponization of the Federal Government" hearing on Capitol Hill, July 20, 2023. (Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

This comes as DeSantis’ campaign announced its second round of layoffs in recent weeks, cutting 38 staffers Tuesday to "streamline operations" and put DeSantis "in the strongest position to win this primary."


Meanwhile, Kennedy testified before the House Judiciary Committee on invitation by Republican leadership last week regarding the weaponization of the federal government, where he argued that he has been censored by the Trump and Biden administrations regarding his skepticism on COVID-19 vaccines. 

Trump in recent weeks has praised Kennedy, and RFK Jr. in response refused to attack the former president’s character, which the current Democratic establishment has viewed as potential GOP strategy to swap voters away from President Biden’s re-election campaign. 

desantis suggests he could nominate democrat rfk jr to lead the fda or cdc

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at Rep. Zach Nunn’s "Operation Top Nunn: Salute to Our Troops" fundraiser on July 15, 2023, in Ankeny, Iowa. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Kennedy was under fire by Democrats during the hearing over comments made at a recent campaign event in New York City where he suggested COVID-19 could have been "ethnically targeted" to "attack Caucasians and Black people," while Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese are "are most immune." 

"I’ve never been anti-vaccines, but everybody in this room probably believes that I have been because that’s the prevailing narrative. Antisemitism, racism, these are the most appalling, disgusting pejoratives, and they’re applied to me to silence me," Kennedy said in at the hearing. "Because people don’t want me to have that conversation about the war, about groceries, about inflation, about the war on the middle class in this country that we need to be having." 

"In my entire life, I have never uttered a phrase that was either racist or antisemitic," RFK Jr. added under oath. 

Danielle Wallace is a reporter for Fox News Digital covering politics, crime, police and more. Story tips can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and on Twitter: @danimwallace. 

Authored by Danielle Wallace via FoxNews July 27th 2023